Rays lose another close game, this time 1-0

by Gary Shelton on June 29, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Duffy was disappointed he didn't get a bunt down./CARMEN MANDATO

Duffy was disappointed he didn't get a bunt down./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 4 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays know all about close losses. They know how to break down the frustration, too.

And so, after the team’s 20th one-run loss of the season (of 41 losses), a 1-0 disappointment, Matt Duffy stood at his locker and tried to dissect where this one got away.

No, he said. It wasn’t his line drive in the eighth-inning, a shot to shortstop to Marwin Gonzalez, who easily doubled off Kevin Kiermaier, who was stealing, to help escape a first-and-third with no-one-out situation.

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Willy Adames dobles, but was stranded on third./JAMES LUEDDE

Willy Adames doubled, but was stranded on third./JAMES LUEDDE

The problem, Duffy said, came two pitches earlier, when he fouled off a safety squeeze bunt that would have scored Willy Adames with the tying run.

“In hindsight, I should have gotten the bunt down,” Duffy said. “I’m obviously frustrated with the result, but I had an opportunity to get a bunt down. A safety squeeze is kind of an indefensible thing if you execute it and I didn’t.

Yarbrough allowed just one run in 6 1/3 inning./JEFFREY S. KING

Yarbrough allowed just one run in 6 1/3 innings./JEFFREY S. KING

“It was a changeup, down the middle. You’re going to line out sometimes. That’s part of the game. Not executing is what I’m frustrated with. That’s an opportunity to get a run across.”

The Rays, who had won five straight games, lost because of a home run by Jake Marisnick in the fifth. Lance McCullers Jr. spread three hits across seven innings to win his ninth game (9-3). Ryan Yarbrough gave up the homer on a change up and  fell to 7-4.

“Losing a one-run game is harder than getting beat by 10,”. Duffy said. “Also. you can usually look back at one or two plays in a one-run loss, like getting the bunt down, and you’re not far off. The one-run games we’ve lost -- there are some things that are sloppy that led to that one  run game.”

Cash saw his team lose its 20th one-run game./JEFFREY S. KING

Cash saw his team lose its 20th one-run game./JEFFREY S. KING

Cash talked more about Duffy’s line-out double play than he did the bunt.

“The worst luck happened when Duff was at the plate,” Cash said. "That was  bad luck. No one did anything wrong. It just didn’t work in our favor. He smokes the ball.”

Cash said McCullers was tough on his team.

“I thought he was effective,” Cash said. “We knew the game plan coming in. He throws a lot of curveballs. He probably had a really good changeup to complement the curveball. Doesn’t throw a ton of fastballs for a guy who throws 94-96 mph, but the thing that was most impressive about him is that I don’t recall seeing many fastballs that stayed in the zone. It was all strike-to-ball so you have to credit the pitcher. He came in and had a good night and made it challenging for us.

“It stinks when you lose 1-0. We won a ballgame 1-0 two days ago so everything has to go right. I thought our pitching was tremendous. Yarbs, one pitch he probably would like to have back. Once he got into the  flow of the game, he threw the ball really well, but it’s unfortunate … one home run. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Very, very pleased with our pitching. It kept us in every inning to give us a chance to tie it or take the lead.”

The Rays play the Astros again tonight. Wilmer Font of the Rays pitches against Gerrit Coles of the Astros. Game time is 7:10 p.m at Tropicana Field.

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